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Former Acting Solicitor General Ian Heath Gershengorn

Former Acting Solicitor General of the United States

Ian Heath Gershengorn is the Acting Solicitor General of the United States.

Mr. Gershengorn has served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General for the United States since September 2013.  In that capacity, he has appeared ten times before the Supreme Court, arguing cases such as Evenwel v. Abbott, which involved the Equal Protection Clause’s “one-person, one vote” requirement; EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., which involved a refusal by a clothing company to hire an applicant because she wore a religious headscarf;  Town of Greece v. Galloway, which presented an Establishment Clause challenge to the practice of opening town council meetings with a prayer; and McCullen v. Coakley, which presented a challenge to the constitutionality of a state-imposed 35-foot buffer zone around the entrances to abortion clinics.  He has also played a critical role in the Government’s briefing in a range of high-profile cases, including those involving the Affordable Care Act, the availability of disparate impact under the Fair Housing Act, immigration, abortion, and same-sex marriage.

From April 2009 until his appointment to the Office of the Solicitor General, Mr. Gershengorn served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, with principal responsibility for the Federal Programs Branch.  The Federal Programs Branch employs approximately 130 attorneys, who litigate in federal district court on behalf of federal agencies, the President, cabinet officers, and other government officials.

While at the Federal programs Branch, Mr. Gershengorn supervised a range of high-profile and high-stakes litigation.  Most notably, he supervised the Department’s district court defense of the Affordable Care Act, and he argued the principal constitutional challenges to the Act in the district courts in Michigan, Florida, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. 

Prior to joining the Justice Department in 2009, Mr. Gershengorn was a partner in the Washington, DC office of Jenner & Block, where he was a member of the Firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice as well as its Litigation Department, with substantive concentrations in telecommunications and constitutional law, as well as Indian law.

From 1995 to 1997, Mr. Gershengorn served in the U.S. Department of Justice, first as Special Assistant and Counsel to Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick, and then as Assistant to Attorney General Janet Reno.

Mr. Gershengorn received his A.B. magna cum laude in 1988 from Harvard College, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa.  He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1993 from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After law school, Mr. Gershengorn served as a law clerk first for Judge Amalya L. Kearse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then for Associate Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court.

Updated January 20, 2017